Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa MosqueNati Shohat/Flash 90

The Israel Police overnight Saturday evacuated hundreds of worshipers who had barricaded themselves on the Temple Mount after the conclusion of prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and planned to sleep in the compound in order to disrupt public order during the morning hours.

The police said that the worshipers barricaded themselves in the compound in complete contradiction to an agreement with the Waqf and the rules of the place. It was also stated that no special means were used during the activity, and there were no disturbances or violent incidents.

According to Palestinian Arab reports, one person was arrested.

"Following information that was received about the intention of some of them to violate public order in the morning hours before the start of visits to the Temple Mount, in accordance with the practice that has existed for many years, prolonged negotiation efforts were made repeatedly with the Waqf in an attempt to remove those who were there. Most of them did not obey the instructions and refused to leave the place. Therefore, the police had to enter the Temple Mount to take them out in order to prevent disorder, disruption of the Fajr prayer and the visits of tourists and Israelis taking place there, in accordance with the visiting hours and the accepted visiting rules," the Israel Police said.

The statement also said that "when they were removed from the Temple Mount area, there were no unusual incidents, and the police worked to remove them from the place and escort them out while respecting the sanctity of the place. The Israel Police will continue to allow freedom of worship, but will work to prevent any intention or attempt to disrupt order and harm the existing practices in the holy places."